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Film Industry Joins Funding Scramble

Members of Oregon’s film industry were among those scrambling for attention from the legislature today.

About 17 film and video workers and labor leaders spoke at a hearing in support of an incentive program aimed at luring lucrative film projects to Oregon.

Charlie Carlsen is a business agent with IATSE Local 488 who represents technicians within the film industry. He also works in the industry, with experience on several high-profile projects.

“We have a statewide impact,” Carlsen told the Senate Finance and Revenue committee. “I work on Grimm in addition to being a business agent. On my crew alone, I’ve got a member from Madras, a member from Ashland, a person from Corvallis.”

Carlsen says once the incentives run out, it will mean hundreds of layoffs for experienced crew members. Carlsen and others testified that film producers work with a highly competitive set of state incentives in places like New York, Louisiana, Georgia, and California.

The incentive funding will run dry before the 2014 pilot season begins if the legislature does not act to renew it. The incentives are in a bill that’s one of about 70 still pending as the legislative session winds down.

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